D and Z Auto Repair, a community fixture for local residents since 1990, is closing its doors.
Joseph Zirpolo and Bill DelloRusso, friends and owners of the neighborhood auto repair shop, have decided to retire after 25 years of operating their business located at 944 Saratoga St.
“It’s been a fantastic 25 years,” said the 55-year-old Zirpolo. “We’re proud of our name and our reputation, and for being honest – that’s why it went so well for 25 years.”
D and Z’s excellence spans two generations of East Boston residents. The owners say that many of the sons and daughters of longtime customers now come to D and Z for work on their own vehicles.
It’s that customer loyalty that made D and Z more than just an auto body shop. In fact, there is a table in the shop at which customers would often sit, enjoy a cup of coffee and talk about sports, politics, and current events.
Customers came to D and Z for the expertise, mechanical aptitude, professionalism, and courtesy of the owners and their staff. Everyone wants to drive a safe vehicle, and D and Z not only prided itself on its repairs but on offering advice to maintain the vehicles and avoid future malfunctions.
“We tried to be upfront and honest with our customers and doing what we had to do to make things right,” said Zirpolo. “We were fair with everybody to have that repeat business.”
Added the 67-year-old DelloRusso, “We’ve been decent with our customers and they keep coming back.”
Zirpolo said the auto repair field became more competitive in recent years.
“It’s very competitive, especially with the internet and people looking for parts,” said Zirpolo. “And with the newer cars coming out, you have to get retrained.”
Zirpolo and DelloRusso are lifelong Eastie residents. “I grew up at Eagle Hill and spent the rest of my years in the Heights area,” said Zirpolo.
D and Z has conducted its final repairs and will be officially done Sept. 1.
“We just want to say to all our custome
rs, ‘Thank you so much for your loyalty – it’s been a great 25 years meeting so many different people,’’’ said Zirpolo.
The two men will spend their retirement years in different locales. Zirpolo is moving to central Florida. DelloRusso will continue to reside in East Boston.
“After all these years, I might be a little too young and too active to retire, but I think it’s time,” said DelloRusso.